Advertising
Advertising

6 Important Things You Should Know Before Buying a Car

6 Important Things You Should Know Before Buying a Car

Buying a new vehicle is something that should never be done on a whim. This is an expensive purchase, and you need to put a certain amount of thought into it before you spend a lot of money and end up with a vehicle that isn’t right for you. There are many things to consider before buying a vehicle, so make sure that you take plenty of time before coming to a final decision. Here are six of the most important things to think about before making that purchase.

1. Determine Your Needs

The first thing to consider is the type of vehicle you should buy, based on your particular needs. For instance, if you have children or plan to have children, you will need a vehicle that will accommodate your family. Write down a list of the features you would like, such as a sound system, sunroof, heated seats, etc., and figure out how often and where you will be driving. These are all factors that will determine the type of vehicle that you should be looking for.

Advertising

2. Don’t Get Unnecessary Extras

You are going to be offered all kinds of extras as a way to get you to pay more for the vehicle. Don’t fall for this. Only take what you want, and don’t be fooled by fast talking sales people. Extras that you don’t really need include paint protection, fabric protection, rust-proofing, and VIN etching unless of course you can afford them and decide that you do want them. Some of the extras can be great to have, but unless they fit into your budget, don’t be talked into anything that isn’t necessary.

3. Figure Out Your Budget

This is actually one of the first things you need to do, because if you don’t set a budget, you could end up with payments that you can’t really afford. You may really want that expensive sports car, but can you really afford it? When looking at your budget, be sure to think about various ways to finance a vehicle. If you have cash on hand, you can make a large down payment and have lower payments. Ask about vehicle financing, talk to your bank about a car loan, and also look at leasing, which is often a great option for those who like to trade up regularly. Don’t forget to include things like car insurance, vehicle registration, and other expenses.

Advertising

4. Buy the Vehicle, Not the Deal

There are a lot of great deals out there that can keep you from getting the vehicle that you really need. You could end up getting something that is completely wrong for your lifestyle, just because you were offered a deal that you felt you shouldn’t refuse. This goes back to the first tip. Consider your exact driving needs, and make sure that the vehicle you choose fits those needs.

5. Research Brands and Dealers

The more you know about brands and dealers, the more ammunition you will have when it comes to negotiations. Dealers don’t want people to do this research because it means that they will be aware of ways to lower prices. Look into car prices, compare prices between models and brands, and get a variety of price quotes before spending any money.

Advertising

6. Do an Online Competitive Comparison

You should try to compare at least two or three brands in the same vehicle category in order to find one that is just right for you. There are many brands that offer more value for your money than others do, so it is a good idea to do your research and make lists of the various prices, features, etc. to help you make the best decision.

Featured photo credit: Mason Jones via unsplash.com

Advertising

More by this author

Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

Stay Productive On The Go – The Top 20 Tools For Digital Nomads 10 Great Books to Help You Find the Meaning of Life 30 Makeup Hacks That Will Change Every Girl’s Life 15 Best Brainstorming And Mind-Mapping Tech Tools For Every Creative Mind The Best 8 Project Management Apps

Trending in Budget Activity

1 6 Easy Ways to Treat Yourself 2 7 Websites to Sell Used Stuff Profitably 3 Seven Tips to Save Money While Renovating Your Home 4 4 Ways to Make Every Penny Stretch in 2017 5 Getting Out of Debt in 4 Simple Steps

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

Advertising

Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

Advertising

I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

Advertising

Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

Advertising

So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

Read Next